If you listen to politicians they want you to believe that defeating ISIS is some sort of tangled web. We simple folk can’t figure it out. I bet we can. So, let’s give it a whirl
“If you know your enemy and know yourself you need not fear the result of a hundred battles.” ~ Sun Tsu.
ISIS has demonstrated that they are willing to die in battle. In fact, it is an honor. They do not surrender but are more apt to fight to the death. The territory they occupy is cleansed of any group that does not practice their version of Islam. This means that once the civilian population has outlived their usefulness they have no issue killing them.
ISIS projects itself outside of held territory through the use of terrorist tactics. Suicide attacks that are intended to cause as much death and destruction as possible. They recruit via social media and insurgent recruiters/trainers in many nations. ISIS is reported to have between 30,000 and 200,000 troops.
ISIS is funded by the sale of oil. This oil is being sold to someone with the ability to move large amounts of oil, and funds into and out of a war zone. They are also receiving funding from friendly nations. Additionally, someone is bringing them ammunition and supplies. To discover who is as simple as looking at who in the region has not been attacked by ISIS. If you draw a line through Europe you can see that the Eastern European nations have yet to be attacked. Russia in specific has yet to be significanly* attacked by ISIS.
If you look at the major nations involved in the war on ISIS in Syria and Iraq you quickly realize that any of these nations could defeat ISIS in very short order. France, The United States, The United Kingdom, and Russia could individually destroy ISIS. Then why haven’t they?
It boils down to politics. The ideology that is being protected believes that attacking ISIS will in some way make it easier for them to recruit. That is a corrupt ideology. If you attack ISIS…they will use that to recruit. If you don’t attack ISIS…they will use that to recruit. It is a lose-lose proposition.
There is no instance of a country having benefited from prolonged warfare. ~ Sun Tsu
In the attack in Paris and in Orlando ISIS used hostage taking and the idea that they intended to negotiate. In both cases, the end result was to kill the hostages and die martyrs. It is an extension of the general ISIS strategy. As we wait to slowly choke ISIS in its nest, they are killing civilians. Our “moral” war to not cause collateral damage is creating collateral damage at horrific rates. The prolonging of the actions on ISIS is not to our benefit.
From an intelligence perspective we, and by we I mean the US, must identify the suppliers and funders of ISIS. These entities must be made aware that they are considered enemies, and will be dealt with as such. It’s time to call their bluff.
By waging total war against ISIS they will be destroyed in a matter of months. The territory can then be occupied by forces friendly to the US.
Will this end terrorist attacks? Of course not, but it will choke off the ants from their support and demonstrate that they are a losing cause. It will free Europe from the glut of refugees. This will certainly reduce ISIS in its ability to recruit. It will go much further than where we are now.
Can ISIS be beaten…heck yeah it can. We just need a leader who is willing to do it.
*Update…reader’s pointed out that a suspected ISIS aligned gang did kill a police officer.